DeWayne Walker is sealed up for one year, and he in turn is making sure Bruce Davis is coming back for his senior year:
UCLA defensive end Bruce Davis finally found a home at defensive end this season, but if he is to get a shot in the NFL, it will likely come as a hybrid player.
In a meeting with Bruins defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, a scenario for using Davis next season in a role as defensive end with some linebacker responsibilities was mapped out. And that was enough to convince Davis coming back for his senior season was a prudent move.
"I trust Coach Walker and (defensive line) Coach (Todd) Howard," said Davis, who is 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. "What those two guys have done for me, they've totally changed my life. Before, I was just another college football player and now I'm one of the tops in the country. I'll be the No. 1 defensive end returning next year."
Former defensive coordinator Larry Kerr tried Davis at linebacker, but the experiment failed.
"It's not, 'OK, you're going to do this for a couple of plays and in a few weeks we'll change you to something else," Davis said. "(Walker) knows football, and from being in the (NFL), they have packages for guys like me. Guys like DeMarcus Ware, Shawne Merriman, and guys like that, and (Walker) wants me to be that guy."
Davis tied for second in the nation (with teammate Justin Hickman) with 12.5 sacks and was named to several All-American teams. And he believes he can be even more effective next season because of his versatility.
Well, good to hear Davis is putting his faith in Walker. Walker has definitely made a positive impact on the current UCLA defensive players, who have showed unmistakable progress on the field.
Although it'd be nice to see if Walker and Dorrell could translate December 2nd's big win into success in the recruiting field. So far, they have't had much luck. On Friday, Dorrell missed out WR recruit Davis. Over the weekend, Dorrell (and Walker) seemed to have struck out with elite LB recruit Malcolm Smith, who was thought to be 1 of the 3 major remaining targets for this recruiting season (Drew Davis and Donovan Warren being the other 2). Smith eliminated UCLA from his consideration over the weekend, limiting his choices to three other schools. Not good at all. Once again, Dorrell and his staff are whiffing on elite recruits down the stretch. You'd think that with our defensive success this year, Walker, Dorrell, and co. would fair well with elite defensive recruits. Not in this case.
Anyways, shifting focus back to the short term, DN reports how Markey is getting ready and aiming to get his 1,000 yards
And speaking of the FSU game, Kyle over at DawgSports
is picking the Bruins to crush Noles
Have the Seminoles beaten anyone
? I ask that in all seriousness. F.S.U. has wins over a Miami squad whose head coach has since been fired, over Rice and Troy teams scheduled to meet in the New Orleans Bowl, over a Duke unit that hasn't beaten a Division I-A opponent since 2004, over a Virginia squad that lost to Western Michigan, and over Western Michigan by an eight-point margin in Tallahassee. The 'Noles limp into San Francisco after dropping five of their last eight decisions, including a 30-0 annihilation at the hands of Wake Forest. While the Bruins' expectations were dashed by a midseason skid during which U.C.L.A. lost four in a row, the reigning city champs managed to wrap up the regular season with three straight wins, including a conference road victory over a Hawaii Bowl-bound Arizona State team and home wins over Oregon State and U.S.C. squads that combined for 19 victories. During that final trio of outings, the Bruin D allowed just over nine points per game . . . and Karl Dorrell's troops will be going up against a Florida State offense ranked 38th in passing offense, 54th in scoring offense, 73rd in total offense, and 103rd in rushing offense. If the Bruins shut down the Trojans, is there any reason to think they can't shut down the Seminoles, as well? Since posting a 13-0-1 record in bowl games between the 1982 and 1995 seasons, F.S.U. has gone 4-6 in postseason play. Not since the 1984 campaign has a Bobby Bowden-coached team played the season's final game before December 28 and not since the 1977 Tangerine Bowl have the 'Noles won a bowl game as early as this one. Finally, while F.S.U.'s Marching Chiefs will be staying in the Sunshine State
, U.C.L.A. is able to boast of having Juggler Dude
, the West Coast equivalent of the fellow known to University of Georgia students from the mid-1990s as "The Bagpipe Guy." How can you pick against the team that has Juggler Dude? You can't spell "crushing Florida State" without U-C-L-A
Kyle knows his football. There will be no excuse for a loss or a mediocre performance against the hapless Noles. At this point its obvious elite recruits are waiting to see whether the win over Southern Cal was an aberration or signs of positive things in 2007. So Bruins will have to crush the Noles if they want to continue the momentum generated from that epic night on December 2nd.